Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Cipriani: England future down to me

Danny Cipriani
Danny Cipriani

Danny Cipriani refuses to view Martin Johnson's demise as England manager as his ticket back into Test rugby.

It was Johnson who cast Cipriani into the international wilderness after awarding him the last of his seven caps in November 2008 and the 24-year-old later signed for Melbourne Rebels, hoping a move to the Super 15 would revive his career.

Johnson resigned as England manager last week, but asked if his Test career had been placed on hold while Johnson was in charge, Cipriani replied: "No, I never thought like that. It was difficult with me being in Australia and I probably gave the coaches enough ifs, buts and maybes not to pick me. That's why I didn't get selected. I can't really look at anyone but myself."

He added: "That's what I've realised and I've matured in that way, knowing that I must improve on certain areas of my game to get selected.

"I have a long-term goal to be in the squad and become first choice (number) 10 for 2015."

Cipriani revealed that his contact with England's management since departing for Australia has been minimal.

"(Attack coach) Brian Smith spoke to me early doors, but generally I just spoke to the same people I always spoke to, Shaun Edwards and Brian Ashton," he said. "They are the two people in my life. Regardless of where I am, they will remain consistent."

Cipriani has yet to make a decision on his future once his contract with the Rebels expires at the end of the coming season.

"I don't know if I'll come back here, it's still early doors," he said. "In my eyes the Super 15 is the best league in the world, and I've played in the Heineken Cup.

"Obviously in terms of logistics it's easier to be in England, but I've never really done things the easy way in the past. I just have to make sure I put my hand up wherever I am in the world."

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